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School-Based Physical Education Programs and Childhood Obesity - Essay Example

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School-Based Physical Education Programs and Childhood Obesity: A Quantitative Correlation Study Grade Course (4th, April. 2013) Introduction The United States is currently experiencing a health epidemic in the form of obesity…
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School-Based Physical Education Programs and Childhood Obesity
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School-Based Physical Education Programs and Childhood Obesity

A growing segment of the population for which obesity is becoming a serious problem is school-aged children. Current research shows that obese children perform worse academically than normal weight children. Obese children affected by deteriorating physical and mental health lack the ability to stay intellectually focused in school. Thus, childhood obesity in the context of educational settings will be the focus of this dissertation. Specifically, this study will delve into the subject matter with a particular focus on African American female high school students. Furthermore, the focus of this study is the connection between the efficacy of exercise programs and regimens for school aged children. The United States, like other countries, depends upon having a healthy youth base to take over and eventually lead. If we cannot reasonably conceive that our youth will be healthy enough to lead, that presents substantial political, economic and national security problems. More fundamentally, however, as adults, we represent the first and last line of defense for children as their caregivers. In this regard, the role of caregiver is not merely relegated to children’s parents, but also their educators, and those in the community. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), when students are physically unhealthy, they are also at risk for deficiencies in other areas pertaining to their health including mental health, intellectual health (ability to learn), and the ability to socialize. Further, the CDC observed that a sick body often translates into a deficient ability to stay focused, learn in school and grow (Centers for Disease Control, 2012). Attending school is not exclusively meant for studying the subject matter, but also for enhancing individual and social growth. Thus, mental health can rarely thrive, without physical health, since physical health ultimately affects learning ability (Bailey, 2006). Thus, there are several potential positive social outcomes that can arise from this study. First, by investigating the relationship between childhood obesity and the efficacy of physical education programs, answers can be provided to a number of related questions. The answers can provide information to educators and administrators as how they can alter current educational methodologies and pedagogy to effectively create physical, mental, intellectual, and social environments that are conducive to youth development. Second, such a study will further a dialogue about the importance of applied educational research into topics that are not traditionally thought of as germane to education such as physical education. This study has potential to demonstrate that adequate physical education programs are necessary to support physically healthy students, which will help to facilitate improved health in other categories that ultimately affect learning outcomes. Early childhood through adolescent years mark the most critical physiological, psychological, and physical development periods (Belgrave, 2009). Thus, without good physical health, the corresponding steps of individual growth can be disturbed, and growth can be stunted to the degree that youth can fail to thrive in the educational setting with respect to actual learning, as well as feeling secure in their bodies. Background The broader discussion of how to tackle childhood obesity, especially in the ... Read More
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